FT Absence

There’s a curious sound in the FT Adjusting office this morning – and that’s the sound of silence. The office is strangely empty.  There’s been no loud phone conversations and hardly anyone has been coming in and out of the office. The musical duo Simon & Garfunkel certainly knew a thing or two about this peculiar phenomenon. In 1964 they released their hit ‘The Sound of Silence’ (1964! Let that sink in for a moment).

So way back in the Stone Age, Simon & Garfunkel departed this eternal piece of musical wisdom upon us: ‘Hello darkness my old friend/ I’ve come to talk with you again.’ There’s been endless analysis on the deeper meanings behind the song, but for today’s blog purposes it’s being used to capture the disconcerting feelings and the hollow echo of silence in our office. Just go with me here.

silence

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It just so happens that a few of our staff, including our glorious leader Ian, are away on leave. Where are the others, you ask? Well they’re out doing what every good loss adjuster does – visiting sites and communicating directly with insurers and the insured in the field. According to our Cadet Loss Adjuster Shay, the amount of time you spend on site really depends on the type of claim. For most contract works, you can expect to be on site anywhere from thirty to forty-five minutes. For more complex situations, a site visit could take up to an hour or more. And handling multiple claims at a time can mean multiple site visits.

Unfortunately, that leaves a rather empty office headquarters around here today. There’s hardly any keyboard tapping, boiling kettles or banter between desks. Things will most likely be back to normal after the Anzac Day public holiday – it’ll return to a full house! But for now, I can really see eye to eye with the lyric: ‘But my words like silent raindrops fell/ And echoed in the wells of silence,’ – and what I wouldn’t give for some friendly office banter right now to fill that silence.

Words by Skye Jamieson

Efficiency Advice

The theme of the week here at the FT Adjusting office is efficiency, and as we all know, it only takes one appealing email link or extended tea break (did someone say Tim Tams?) to completely derail productivity levels for the day. So, after seeking out sources in the office and a bit of running around, I managed to score a few red hot efficiency tips from some of our elusive staff.

FT Adjusting’s Hot Tips for Efficiency in the Office

 

Shay uses sticky notes around his computer to stay on top of urgent tasks. He listens to empowering and brain stimulating music to keep his mind focussed, and believes drinking a lot of water is important. Geoffrey’s number one tip for efficiency in the office is to utilise his filing tray by prioritising files from most urgent to least urgent. He says the highest priority files are the ones on his desk!

Desk

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Simon uses a whiteboard in his office to create To-Do lists, organise his time and schedule appointments in order to effectively give an individual his undivided attention. Zack harnesses the concentrated power of metal music (while wearing headphones!) to “get in the zone” and block out distractions in the office.

Lesley, our office manager, is a big believer in writing lists and using sticky notes in order to complete tasks efficiently. In terms of minimising errors, she always checks once, checks twice, and checks again.

Ian, our Director, begins each day by mediating, as he has done for the past twenty years, in order to become focussed. Ian’s hot tip is to first complete the tasks you don’t want to do, which then leaves time to focus on other tasks.

So there you have it! As you can see, the team here at FT Adjusting are an efficient lot. And in the complex world of loss adjusting, efficiency and productivity are most definitely essential skills.

Words by Skye Jamieson

Water Cooler Conversation

It’s only my second day in the office here at FT Adjusting and I’ve already developed a slight attachment to the water cooler in the corner of the office. Like the animals in the African savanna, us office-dwellers have long been drawn to the nearest water source for refreshment, particularly when the air conditioning has been overworked in the heat of the Aussie summer.

Elephants

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For many years conversation around the water cooler was the perfect opportunity to ponder life’s unanswerable questions (like why on earth did Apple remove the headphone jack?) but with the rise of social media the office bulletin boards have been reduced to measly 140 character tweets.

And with the rise in social media use in the office, reports Insurance Business, comes a higher risk of cyber breaches in the workplace. Insurance Business believes that human error is one of the most common causes of cyber breaches. Yikes.

With mandatory breach notifications recently passing through Parliament, Lennon* noted that he expects to see the cyber insurance market continue its growth over the course of 2017 as businesses learn that cyber risk is an issue that reaches far beyond the IT department.

With this prediction we can expect to see even more ridiculously complicated password requirements. So stay hydrated, folks, maybe the water cooler isn’t so old school after all.

*Nick Lennon, country manager at cyber security firm Mimecast.

Words by Skye Jamieson

Vacancy: Social Media Manager

Are you a busy university student? A social media maven? A lover of monthly pizza parties? If you mentally ticked all three boxes, then FT Adjusting would love to hear from you!

Our company

FTA is a loss adjusting firm based in Epping, a few minutes from the station. Our small team draws on their diverse skills and experience to investigate and report on insurance claims. Construction and engineering is our forte; we have ‘niche-pertise’, and we’re proud of it!

The position

As Social Media Manager, your job is to produce content for FTA’s online platforms. You will write blog posts, run our Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, and create and edit any marketing or promotional material the company needs. From time to time you may be asked to provide admin support (i.e. answer phones). If you take to our (very simple) office procedures, you might inherit additional responsibilities under the tutelage of our lovely office manager!

Social media

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You

It’s ESSENTIAL that you:

  • are a journalism or media student (related disciplines also welcome)
  • can independently manage your own time and decisions
  • have exceptional research and writing skills
  • have plenty of creativity and a sense of humour
  • have an eye for detail and an open mind
  • can take initiative and learn on the fly

It’s a BONUS if you:

  • can use WordPress, Twitter and LinkedIn
  • have some editorial, graphic design or admin experience

In return you’ll get:

  • a small, dedicated and friendly group of colleagues
  • flexible hours (equivalent of one eight-hour day a week)
  • your own office in an easily accessible building
  • valuable writing and social media experience

Interested?

To apply, please email Jenny Ryan (Social Media Manager) at jennyr@ftadjusting.com.au with your:

  • resume
  • cover letter
  • best piece of writing (any kind!)

Applications close 12 February 2017. We look forward to reading yours soon!

It Takes Two

You may remember that back in November Zack gave us his thoughts on the challenges of being a new loss adjuster. He noted that there isn’t much new talent coming to the field. And it seems that this problem isn’t isolated to loss adjusting: the insurance industry at large is struggling to find new recruits.

Insurance Business Online wants to answer the question: how do you attract new talent this year? They’ve got two helpful suggestions for us all.

  1. Invest in the future
  2. Sell the soft benefits
Girl thinking at desk

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The first idea is simple: want someone to contribute to your future? Invest in theirs. Many jobseekers want training and development opportunities. If insurance companies offer those to prospective candidates, then those potential employees may see a clearer future in the industry.

It’s also not a bad idea to spruik things like a good work-life balance. These type of lifestyle benefits are increasingly popular and encourage employee retention. It’s always good to know that your workplace cares about you.

Meeting of young people

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Ultimately, these two ideas suggest that new talent are attracted to supportive and flexible employers. It’s a give and take situation: if they’re going to give their time and effort to a company, what can they get in return?

Nobody’s saying that just throwing benefits at candidates is the right way to attract them. But maybe it’s worth thinking about what each party can offer the other when it comes to getting the next generation on board.

Words by Jenny Ryan

Happy New YOU!

In the immortal words of Marshall Bruce Mathers III, AKA Eminem: ‘guess who’s back, back again’!

It’s finally 2017 and the FT Adjusting team is still emerging, bleary-eyed, from our holiday. But work doesn’t stop just because we do. So here we are, back in action (well… almost) for a new year! Since this is a fairly sleepy first week back, let’s not overexert ourselves. All that insurance-y stuff can wait. Today, let’s focus on getting back in the working mindset.

Smile note

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This article from Inc. may be a little old, but it’s still good value as far as being a happy employee goes. It identifies five things you can do to make work more enjoyable:

  1. Set some challenging goals
  2. Learn some new tricks
  3. Socialise with different people
  4. Adopt the 80-20 principle
  5. Explore opportunities
Meeting

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There’s nothing like leaving your comfort zone to make work interesting, especially if you were stuck in a rut before Christmas. Your new goals, tricks and comrades may or may not directly relate to your job: the important thing is that you expand your horizons and think outside the box, both of which will benefit you at work.

The 80-20 principle posits that while 80% of your job should consist of tasks you enjoy doing, 20% will consist of those you don’t. The key is to accept this and not be overcome by it. Tackle that 20% first, bit by bit, and then you can embrace the 80%. Those tasks will be easier to finish since you won’t be fighting against yourself!

Woman working and drinking coffee

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And of course, take the time to chase opportunities, even if they don’t exist yet! A person can still dream, and unconstrained imagination can help you realise what you do and don’t want for your future. There’s no harm in a bit of daydreaming if it gets you fired up to get stuff done.

So go: try a new productivity hack, invite a co-worker to coffee, or start chipping away at those less-than-desirable tasks. You’ll feel much better for it, and you’ll work much better, too! Happy 2017!

Words by Jenny Ryan

Tackling 2017

We made it! FT Adjusting (as you may have seen) is shutting up shop tomorrow afternoon. The loss adjusters will be hitting the road after lunch to enjoy some well-deserved R&R. All too soon it will be Christmas, and then New Year’s Eve; then the FT team will be back at their desks for another year of hard, hard work.

Last week we spoke about productivity, and today we’re expanding on that by tackling those post-holiday blues. It’s almost inevitable that, after a year like 2016, returning to work in 2017 will be a bit of an uphill battle. But there are some steps we can take to make the transition as painless as possible. Things like these!

1. Balancing

Quiet at work? Afford a little more work/life balance. Busy as heck? Reign it in. Try going with the flow in situations like these.

2. Learning

Why put off professional development until a later and busier period? Sleepy January and February are the perfect times to brush up your skills.

Coffee drinker

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3. Housekeeping

If you’ve been delaying your odd jobs – admin, marketing, policies – the post-holiday period is a good time to tick them off your list.

4. Communicating

Having a bit of extra time on your hands could be just what you need to squeeze in some much-needed meetings and boost some morale.

5. Being proactive

Make sure you have something to ‘look forward to’ when you come back from your holiday. It beats twiddling your thumbs throughout January!

Stopwatch

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6. Setting deadlines

While you’re setting yourself some goals, why not also set a time limit? Be flexible, of course, but also incentivise that hard work.

7. Staying away!

Nobody likes unfinished work, but don’t drag yourself back to it too soon. There’s nothing worse than needing another holiday immediately after returning from one.

In an ideal world, we’d all return to work in 2017 feeling refreshed, energised and ready to take on the world! In reality, though, we’ll probably eat way too much and end up navigating the office in mobility scooters. But at least we can do so knowing that, at least for the first few weeks of 2017, we’ve got a plan to get things done!

Words by Jenny Ryan

Vacancy: Who Wants to Be A Cadet Loss Adjuster?

Are you in your final year of university? Looking for a part-time job to make ends meet? A lover of monthly pizza parties?

If you just mentally ticked all three boxes, then we’d love to hear from you!

About the Cadetship

As a Cadet Loss Adjuster, your job is to examine, negotiate, resolve and settle claims. You will be mentored by one of FTA’s senior Loss Adjusters (they don’t bite!), and once you have gained experience you will investigate claims on your own.

Your day-to-day tasks will vary, but at a glance you might be called upon to tackle:

  • Public liability claims (legal liability arising from onsite activities)
  • Contract work claims (damage to contract works from accidents, natural disasters, etc.)
  • Professional indemnity claims (high profile and large monetary value, involving in-depth forensic research and examination)
Lady's hands writing

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About you

You are on the verge of finishing your studies: you might have a background in engineering or law, but you’re equally welcome to join us from another discipline!

You can commit 20—24 working hours a week during the semester, and full time hours outside it. We’re pretty flexible, as long as you talk to us.

You’re happy to get out and about for site visits (for which we’ll pay – score!). You have a current driver’s license and preferably your own vehicle.

You’re comfortable at a computer, on the phone, and in face-to-face meetings. You can organise yourself and your time. Above all, you’re eager to learn and ready to dive straight into work!

Interested?

This is a fantastic opportunity to earn a salary and begin your career with one of Australia’s leading niche loss adjusting firms. To apply, please email your expression of interest, CV and academic transcript to:

Jenny Ryan (Social Media Manager)
jennyr@ftadjusting.com.au

Applications close 9 September 2016. We look forward to reading yours soon!

The FT-Files

Ladies and gents, I’m going to level with you all. Writing all the insurance-y things in the world can’t hide the fact that I know as much about loss adjusting as I do about Pokémon GO – which is to say, more than I did a little while ago but still not a whole lot (though funnily enough, loss adjusting is like Pokémon GO in that it gets you up and about visiting different places… go figure).

That’s why Zack has been delegated the chore awarded the privilege of educating me a bit more about this field and FT Adjusting’s place within it! You heard it here, folks: more specific loss adjusting content will be coming your way very shortly! Maybe you’d like to know more about this industry; maybe you know too much? Either way, our hope is that this blog will become a place that is more focused on the niche we’re occupying.

Flying files

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I’d like to think of these sort of posts as our FT-Files: they’re kind of like The X-Files in that the truth (about loss adjusting) is out there, and I’d like to bring it in here. Of course, F-Files would be a much snappier and better rhyming title, but I think it best to avoid the connotations of a solitary letter F…

Just watch this space: on Wednesday you’ll get the first instalment of FT Group specific writing. It’s loss adjusting as explained by Zack and then re-explained by me! Let’s just hope nothing gets lost in translation. But I must say, I’m looking forward to getting started. So hopefully you are, too!

Words by Jenny Ryan

Happy Annibirthary! (2/2)

Thought we were done with this Annibirthary celebration, did you? Think again! In order to compensate for my lateness (and to avoid posting everything in a whopping too-long-to-read blog), I’ve split our celebrations across two posts. Huzzah!

Last time, Ian said some lovely things about FT Adjusting and the people who work here. This time, it’s the people’s turn! I managed to coax our staff into contributing some words to this week’s post. Enjoy the alliterative lead-ins and the brief respite from my voice – I’ll be back next week!

Righthand cake

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Lesley’s leaning

I have worked with Ian for seven years – five years at FTA and three years prior at Technical Assessing. In creating FT Adjusting, Ian afforded his staff the opportunity of working with a unique business model which, through his generosity, has benefited everyone in the company.

Teddy’s tale

Companies that grow for the sake of growth, or that expand into areas outside their core business strategy, often stumble. FT Adjusting has maintained its core business standard and developed a culture unlike most standard models, giving rise to its success and growth in its first five years of operation.

Simon’s saying

I am proud to be part of what Ian started five years ago, and what has survived what can sometimes be a fickle market. That FTA continues to grow is a testament to how Ian has set the business and to the undiluted specialty service we offer.

Richard’s response

When Ian started FT Adjusting five years ago, the general consensus among his colleagues and peers was that there was a risk involved. But it became clear FTA was moving forward; and in recent times, powering ahead is more appropriate. To succeed in a tough market is never easy but Ian, with his good management and business skills, has got everyone noticing. It’s a great work environment and I see a very good future ahead for all of us.

Ben’s banter

FTA has grown organically and developed a unique culture in the loss adjusting industry. It’s a great work environment, with many opportunities for ongoing self-development and developing genuine relationships with colleagues and Ian.

Geoffrey’s gesticulation

It’s been great working here, and I always have the support from Ian and Ben, who have been here for yonks! It’s great to see the company grow and new faces are always a welcoming sight!

Zack’s zinger

It’s not a conventional workplace; everyone’s in it together and has the same stakes. You’re not counting down the clock waiting to go home. It’s the complete opposite to other places, and that’s a good thing.